Arts & Crafts
Sherkin Island is known as the Island of the Arts. This was not a marketing plan developed by a room full of marketing experts. This title happened organically. The inspiring vistas and unique way of life began to attract people with an artistic flare. Sherkin became home to many artists as well as nurturing some home-grown talent. Artists from all genres live and create on Sherkin Island we have artists, writers, photographers and crafters all working with a multitude of materials.
Because of this the community decided they wanted to share the unique and inspiring setting with other budding artists and the BA in Visual Art (BAVA) was born. This is the only BA to be delivered on an island. The BAVA course has taken place on Sherkin Island for years with much success.
The latest success of many is that of past student Mary Sullivan who won the 2018 RDS Taylor Art Award for her BA work At Home.
Sherkin Island is host to an artist trail with many of the artists opening their studios to the public look out for the signs on the road. Opening times vary but you can contact an artist directly to arrange a visit.
Robbie Murphy lives and works on Sherkin Island, where he moved to with his family when he was 10 months old so Sherkin has been a very big influence on him his entire life. He makes his living farming oysters and through his work he sees many different aspects of the Sherkin landscape, its changing weather and its flora and fauna. In his leisure time Robbie uses his photography to capture this ever-changing environment. He has displayed some of his photographs in various solo and group exhibitions in West Cork.
Majella O’Neill Collins
Majella O’Neill Collins lives and works on Sherkin Island. Her artworks can be viewed by appointment on the Island. Majella’s works form part of the Collections of the Office of Public Works National Collection, Ireland; University College Cork, Ireland; Allied Irish Banks Collection, Ireland; Cork University Hospital Millennium Collection, Ireland; The Hennessy Foundation, Washington DC, USA and a number of private collections in Ireland, Europe, the United States and Australia.
Jo Ashby ARBSA
The Old School House
Trained at the Ruskin School of Drawing, University of Oxford, and Goldsmith’s College, University London. Jo has exhibited widely in the U.K. and Ireland. She is an elected member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. Jo’s practice is centred around her responses to the ocean, coastline and landscape – exploring the patterns and rhythms of nature.
The Old School House Studio Gallery is open: July and August 12.30 – 5.30pm, everyday, but closed on Wednesdays.
At other times by appointment only.
Bernadette Burns lives and works on Sherkin Island. Bernadette’s art practice is mainly painting, though she also works with drawing, photography, sculpture, video and book making. She has exhibited her work in Ireland, Spain and Greece. The healing, spiritual and transforming qualities of water hold a special significance; her work constantly refers to lakes, pools, waterfalls, reservoirs, bays, beaches, shoreline and sea.
Her studio will be open for the Open Islands weekend, and otherwise by appointment
Nuala has lived and worked in many countries. She continues to travel extensively. She divides her time now between Sherkin and Provence in France. She has exhibited in both Ireland and France. After photography, her greatest passion is her garden on Sherkin. Her studio is situated there. Everyone is welcome to visit her in her studio and to walk around this hidden paradise.
She continues to study photography with the Open College of the Creative Arts.
John’s paintings evolve from observing his immediate surroundings on Sherkin Island. He explores various themes, such as – objects, or the figure, and their natural place in the landscape; The areas between tides; close and distant outlooks across land and water; the changing nature of light, colour, and the elements. The paintings develop in their own way between the intuitive and structured order of the paintings process, to reach conclusions that are unique, atmospheric and dynamic.
Kevin is originally from County Monaghan and is now living on Sherkin Island. Kevin works in all types of medium for example painting, pencil work, sculpting, murals, photography and
some woodwork. For his recent work, Kevin paints using the "
Claus Havemann is a successful Danish artist who first came to Ireland in the late ’60s. In the early 70’s Claus built his own studio on Sherkin Island where he lives and paints from May to October. He has worked with a lot of different genres from Surrealisme through Superrealism in early years, changing in 1977 to Minimalism which he stayed with for the next 30 years. Following that he started several interpretations the first of which were on Velazques famous painting “Las
As a contemporary collage artist, Tara expresses herself through bright, bold colours, shapes and images. She is currently working on her upcoming exhibition entitled A bull in a china shop.
Using images of the majestic animal, she is creating zany artwork, full of brightly coloured, dreamlike compositions.
“Colour ignites my spirit and inspires me to depict the world in an enlightened positive manner”
Jordyn Lynch originally from Bandon Co. Cork discovered Sherkin Island in the Summer of 2016.
During which time she was studying for her B.A in Contemporary and Applied Art in Crawford College Cork. She immediately fell in love with the Island and the natural burst of inspiration it offered her. After finishing her B.A in 2018 she moved onto the Island full time and set up a studio.
Her work can be viewed by appointment at her studio on Sherkin Island.
Nigel has lived on Sherkin for the last 30 years and primarily works with wood and is the
creator and restorer of the wooden boats located at the dock on the north side of the
island. He also builds wooden boat models and traditional willow lobster pots. Nigel is
currently creating painted stone work.
THE ISLAND CRAFTS SHOP
The Island Crafts Shop is situated on Baltimore Pier and is a collective of artistic products
from Island artists. The shop is managed by the craft workers which means prices can be
kept at an affordable level while also offering customers service from those who have real
knowledge of crafts.
Veronika is inspired by the nature around her which is
reflected in her work on silk – the shifting colours of the sea, skies and landscapes seen in
different lights as the seasons slowly change. Her colours are mixed from primary shades
using her own development techniques. Each piece is an original creation in 100% pure silk
with hand rolled edges, colourfast and washable.
SHERKIN ISLAND KNITWEAR
Sherkin Island Knitwear has been producing knitwear
since 1982 and is a member of the Crafts Council of Ireland.
The knitwear is hand-loomed from 100% Donegal Tweed wool.
The designs are both original and classic and come in a variety of rich colours, and feature
hand-fired matching buttons.
Unique leather goods made from Russian hides
recovered from the wreck of the Metta Catharina von Flensburg which sank in Plymouth
Sound in 1786. The leather items have a distinctive aroma because of the special tanning
LUSH LIFE JEWELLERY
As the name suggests, has a rich and varied texture reflecting the abundant marine life
of the island together with Sherkin Island Silver which features original and Celtic designs in gold, silver and brass set with gemstones. Both are designed and made by Miriam Dunne. If you want to see more of Miriams work please
Born in Dublin in 1976 and is currently based on Sherkin Island, West Cork. She lived in Barcelona for over 16 years and continues to spend a lot of her time between Sherkin and Barcelona. The influence of these contrasting landscapes, one of a small island, the other a big city, and her movement from one culture to the other are evident in much of her work.
McCormick attended Chelsea College of Art and Design in the late 1990’s and is currently studying a BA in Visual Art on Sherkin Island. Her practice is concerned with notions of borders, immigration and our inherent interconnections to one another and to the land, which are often unacknowledged or obscured from view
BRIGID O’CONNELL MADDEN
Brigid O’Connell Madden works with ink washes, drawings and oil on canvas. Her work looks closely at aspects of Island life, the detail of the everyday which transforms into the breath and depth of belonging.
MONA O’ DRISCOLL
Mona O’ Driscoll is a Native of Sherkin Island where she grew up and has spent most of her life.In 2014, she successfully completed a BA (1:1) in Visual Arts, on the BAVA Degree Programme which is run on Sherkin Island under the aegis of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).
Mona is inspired by the natural environment that surrounds her and works with a variety of mediums that can vary depending on the narrative she is telling through her work.
Contact Details: Address: Kilmoon, Sherkin Island, Skibbereen, Co, Cork.
SEAN O’ NEILL
All my life I have had a great love for Art. I was born on Sherkin Island in 1944 and spent most of my life travelling the world. I am living back on Sherkin since the mid-1980s and painting full time.
I paint somewhere between abstraction and reality, trying to portray what lies between impressionism and the subconscious, working totally from memory without the aid of photography or sketches, using acrylic as my medium as I find this the most suitable for the way I work. My paintings are not framed as I find this a distraction with no place in my work.
My paintings may be viewed at my own gallery.
Contact Details: Address: Island House Gallery, Kilmoon, Sherkin Island.
Website Photography from
Robbie Murphy | Bernadette Burns | Michael Stephens | Terry Farnell | Jean Dune | Julian Wyllie | Finbarrs Photo Gallery | Dolly O’Reilly | Krestine Havemann
Postcards and handmade photographic cards of local landscapes, flora and fauna are available to purchase from the Island Artists.
The Sherkin island guide
Welcome to Sherkin Island! The ancestral home of the O’Driscoll clan is the most accessible island in Ireland - only ten minutes by ferry from the fishing port of Baltimore.
The area boasts a wonderful array of landscapes, Atlantic views from the hilltops, fuchsia-scented byways and the finest sandy beaches.
Download our free guide which includes a map and
“Funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development”